Author ORCID Identifier

Robert L. Fischer

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As communities across the United States work to meet the early care and education needs of young children, more research is needed to inform decision making at many levels. One key dimension of this is having clarity about the relative availability of care in light of demographic trends and geographic dispersion. The present study demonstrates a method to examine the capacity of early care programs to serve the children in a large urban county. The study takes stock of the existing early care system by comparing where the child care slots are and where the demand is—all at the neighborhood level. The existing capacity to meet the needs of 3–5 year olds could provide slots for approximately 70% of all children, though there are spatial imbalances in the location of supply and demand. The study illustrates the effective use of administrative and Census-based data to inform policy planning for children and identifies several key implications for this type of effort.


early care, system capacity, research, market

Publication Title

Child & Youth Care Forum





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© 2008, Springer Science Business Media, LLC. For articles published within the Springer Nature group of companies that have been archived into academic repositories such as this one, where a Springer Nature company holds copyright, or an exclusive license to publish, users may view, print, copy, download and text and data-mine the content, for the purposes of academic research, subject always to the full conditions of use. Any further use is subject to permission from Springer Nature. The conditions of use are not intended to override, should any national law grant further rights to any user. See full conditions of use.


This is a peer reviewed Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Springer in Child & Youth Care Forum, available at: 10.1007/s10566-008-9049-3


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